Silver Anniversary at Sea: Disney Cruise Line Celebrates 25 Years – Introduces PEARL as New Castaway Club Level

Today, Disney Cruise Line announced plans to celebrate their silver anniversary with enchantment-filled voyages this summer and a new Castaway Club tier.

On a warm summer day in July of 1998, the Disney Magic embarked on its maiden voyage, introducing the world to a new kind of cruise vacation where families are immersed in Disney storytelling, dazzling entertainment and unparalleled hospitality at sea. For 25 years, Disney Cruise Line has been a porthole through which guests experience global destinations and create cherished memories onboard a one-of-a-kind fleet of enchanting ships.

Disney Cruise Line "Silver Anniversary At Sea" Logo
In 2023, new magic will unfold on the high seas as Disney Cruise Line celebrates its 25th anniversary, bringing special entertainment, merchandise and celebratory experiences to select summer sailings. (Disney)

In 2023, new magic will unfold on the high seas as Disney Cruise Line celebrates its 25th anniversary, bringing special entertainment, merchandise and celebratory experiences to select summer sailings. Guests are invited to take part in limited-time “Silver Anniversary at Sea” offerings across all five Disney Cruise Line ships from May through September of 2023.

“For two-and-a-half decades, Disney Cruise Line has built an incredible legacy of creating unforgettable vacation memories for families around the world,” said Sharon Siskie, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Cruise Line. “Of course, at the heart of this anniversary celebration are our dedicated cast and crew members who continuously deliver legendary service and create magic at sea for our guests every day. Whether returning as a member of our Castaway Club or sailing with us for the first time, we are thrilled to invite guests of all ages to be a part of our very special anniversary festivities next summer.”

Summer Sailings Offer Celebratory Surprises

Disney Cruise Line “Silver Anniversary At Sea” – Captain Minnie Mouse And Captain Mickey Mouse
To honor Disney Cruise Line’s “Silver Anniversary at Sea,” Captain Minnie Mouse and Captain Mickey Mouse will don dazzling new ensembles in the celebration’s signature color, Shimmering Seas. (Disney)

The “Silver Anniversary at Sea” celebration will be featured on summer cruises aboard all five Disney Cruise Line ships. Guests will encounter new entertainment, limited-time enhancements, eye-catching decor, whimsical merchandise and other delightful surprises, all imbued with the magical spirit of this once-in-a- lifetime event.

  • Captain Minnie Mouse and Captain Mickey Mouse will don dazzling new ensembles to mark the occasion. Their coordinated looks will feature shimmering, multi-toned fabric and swirling designs reminiscent of ocean waves. The iconic duo will make appearances in their festive attire exclusively aboard “Silver Anniversary at Sea” sailings across the Disney Cruise Line fleet.
  • Disney Cruise Line will debut a signature song to serve as the soundtrack of the celebration, tunefully threading nostalgic memories of vacations past with the of anticipation of new family adventures to come. The uplifting new melody will manifest in a variety of ways during summer sailings.
    New family entertainment and activities will culminate in shimmering evening experiences created exclusively for the anniversary celebration.
  • Throughout their voyage, guests will discover themed culinary creations, from fanciful desserts to inspired craft cocktails and beyond.
  • Guests can commemorate Disney Cruise Line’s “Silver Anniversary at Sea” with the Shimmering Seas Collection, a line of dedicated merchandise featuring a new signature color. Inspired by the magical glow of sunshine reflecting upon turquoise waters, the Shimmering Seas Collection will include an assortment of apparel, accessories, drinkware, keepsakes and more.

Even more magic lies in store for guests aboard sailings that include “Silver Anniversary at Sea” offerings. Additional details about new entertainment, merchandise and other celebratory experiences will be announced at a later date.

Castaway Club Introduces a New Membership Tier

The anniversary of Disney Cruise Line also heralds the unveiling of a brand-new membership tier for Castaway Club, which recognizes returning Disney Cruise Line guests with exclusive rewards and perks.Honoring 25 years of Disney magic at sea, members will now earn the distinction of Pearl status after 25 Disney Cruise Line vacations. As the line’s biggest fans, Pearl members will unlock new at-home and onboard benefits, which will be announced in early 2023.

Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club Pearl Logo
The anniversary of Disney Cruise Line heralds the unveiling of a brand-new membership tier for Castaway Club, which recognizes returning Disney Cruise Line guests with exclusive rewards and perks. Honoring 25 years of Disney magic at sea, members will now earn the distinction of Pearl status after 25 Disney Cruise Line vacations. (Disney)

Enchantment-filled Voyages Sail to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Europe and Alaska

Cruises featuring the “Silver Anniversary at Sea” celebration will sail to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Europe and Alaska during the summer of 2023.

  • Departing from Miami May 24 to Sept. 4, the Disney Magic will visit destinations in the Bahamas and Caribbean, including Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
  • The Disney Wonder will depart on Alaskan voyages from Vancouver, Canada May 15 to Sept. 11 with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and more.
  • From May 7 to Sept. 17, the Disney Dream will sail transatlantic and European itineraries, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Greek Isles.
  • The Disney Fantasy will set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida May 6 to Sept. 2 to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, each with a day at Castaway Cay.
  • Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, will depart on sailings to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay May 1 to Sept. 8 from Port Canaveral.

55 Replies to “Silver Anniversary at Sea: Disney Cruise Line Celebrates 25 Years – Introduces PEARL as New Castaway Club Level”

  1. Brett B.

    I think that there are lot of people who hit this level already. We were on 9th cruise years ago when someone in our Castaway Club Mixer had 40 cruises.

    1. Camie

      Totally agree. We did 9 seven night cruises and a 12 night. Spent thousands more than those with 10 three night cruises. Plus they have taken away so many benefits.

    2. pppooooppp

      I did.
      And still going every year. sometimes more than one. I do live in California so not cheap to do Florida cruises.

  2. Mark

    A new tier would be a perfect opportunity for DCL to change how they recognize guests by adding a dimension to the program that tracks total DAYS cruised. 25 three-night cruises out of Port Canaveral is a very different level of devotion to the cruise line than 10 14-day Transatlantic Cruises (140 days at sea) but the Port Canaveral cruise guest would be considered a higher level status and seen as a bigger supporter of the cruise line.

    1. Crissup

      Completely agree, Mark. I’ve argued this point for years. They need to look at actual days on board, as opposed to how many 3-day Florida Resident Rate cruises people have sailed.

      1. PS Crunk

        My husband and I discuss this issue often. We have cruise #9 and #10 scheduled. We do not live in FL but are 800+ miles from Port Canaveral and typically do 5 or 7 day cruises. We have spent many, many bucks yet feel a bit slighted under the current system.

    2. Mindy M.

      The length of cruise has no bearing on “devotion”. That costs a ton of money that many don’t have. If they cruise with Disney, it’s still a Disney cruise. Doesn’t matter the itinerary or length.

      1. Jo

        @ Mindy, I agree. A DCL cruise is a DCL cruise. Also, Florida residents are Disney’s not just DCL’s bread and butter. I see no reason for anyone to look down on a fellow cruiser. There are some families that still dream of being able to take any DCL cruise even at Florida resident rates—which are DCL’s way of filling cabins that would not have been booked otherwise. Congrats to ALL who will be Pearl!

      2. Mark

        Your comment sort of makes my point, though… The longer itineraries have a higher cost to them, but the “cost per day” can be similar to that of shorter itineraries. DCL lets you “celebrate” how many round trips you took as opposed to how much you have actually cruised. People that are currently Platinum wipe out all of the sought after excursions, cabanas, tasings, etc. simply because of total itinerary count while even Gold status that may well have 10x as many days at sea keep missing out on things. Since the only thing Disney actually -offers- you through their “loyalty program” is additional opportunities to spend money, the lack of ability to earn status for folks that DON’T live near the port (and prefer longer cruises overall) is kind of a slap in the face.

        Disney created this program almost 25 years ago. The expectations they had when they built it were not aligned with well over 40 million people sailing with them over the years and SO many cruising multiple times to earn the status. Also, they really only had 3 and 4 night cruises to choose from at the time.

        All of their assumptions and plans for the program have changed – the program should change with it.

    3. PhilUp

      I was thinking the same. Every other cruise line does it by days traveled, not total cruises booked (with allowances often for higher tier rooms earning more points). I’ve noticed a lot of high status folks on the west coast because it’s easier and cheaper to do a lot of those short cruises out of San Diego.

    4. mschreib13

      I currently have 68 cruises completed (Another 17 cruises booked) with an average of 6.96. When I reached 10 cruises I had completed 73 days of cruising; that’s an average of 7.3 days per cruise. I don’t live in Florida; I’m just a DCL fan! I don’t like the short (3, 4, or 5 day) cruises, but if there is a show or itinerary I want I’ll book B2B.

      1. mschreib13

        I have now completed 71 DCL cruises and packing for #72 that leaves from Port Canaveral on Feb 2nd. I have another 28 cruises already booked after that. If you do the math that will be 99 cruises completed Jan 02, 2023. Number 100 is booked for Jan 2-8, 2024 onboard the MAGIC. I am retired and live on an annuity in Broken Arrow, OK. If I lived in the Orlando area the lack of airfare would mean a few more cruises each year.

    5. Mary Jane Keeble

      I agree .. I just hit Platinum and have 96 days on board. It bothers me that someone with 75 days will get higher benefits than me. 🙁

    6. Marcella Frick

      I fully agree, we have 225 days onboard, but only 23 cruises. Guess who has spent more on DCL – me or Fl resident doing 3 nighters. But we will stay at free Palo Brunch. Yippee!

    7. Esther

      Completely agree! We have been in 16 cruises of 11 days or more. 9 Mediterranean , 5 Northen Europe, 1 transatlantic + caribbean. And I have the same level as a person who made 16 cruises of 3 days in Florida. It’s not fair at all. We always talk about that is much better in other companies.

    8. Christina

      I can’t agree more! I’m shocked Disney hasn’t made a change. How is a 3 day voyage comparable to a 10+ day trip?! Make it equitable for all!

      1. Brent

        Its actually cheaper and more affordable to book longer cruises if you look at the cost per day. I can’t afford multiple 3 days but can afford a 7 day cruise. Not rich, just use my money wisely

    9. mschreib13

      What about those who live in Florida and do the short cruises out of San Diego. You should also consider dollars spent for the cruise per day. Is there a difference between long cruise per day and short cruise per day?

  3. Doug

    I’m happy to see Disney add another level to their Castaway Club program. As a Platinum member, the program seemed like it had out-lived it’s shelf life, and was long overdue for a revamp. As someone who will fall in the Pearl tier, I’m excited to learn what the offerings are. Thanks for the info, Scott

  4. Antonio

    I still disagree on basing tier levels on number of sailings. Tier levels would be better served being based on the number of nights sailed. Those of us that take longer (more expensive) cruises are being penalized using the current method.

  5. Antonio

    Also, if number of sailings is to be the method, then Concierge sailings should count as Double. After all, the cost is often at least double for Concierge.

  6. Ana Gaillat

    I will be Pearl+ from day 1 (35 by then) but could not agree more: number of nights should count, not number of cruises.
    I have made several 10+ days cruises (HI, Transatlantic, Panama) and in other lines, those would count “extra”.
    Oh well… the Mouse is the Mouse…

  7. pppooooppp

    I don’t care who goes where or for how long. The price of the cruises is what counts. I am already Pearl so no worries. I just hope for the new surprises to be worth the while. A higher discount on merchandise would be nice!! Maybe even a discount on the cruise without a placeholder.

    1. mschreib13

      True the price is what counts. Do some simple math and see what the cost per day is for short cruises and long cruises. I do the short cruises because of what is offered on the Walt Disney Theater stage, i.e. Beauty and the Beast on the Dream, or what the theme of the cruise is, i.e. HOTHS, Pirate night, Very Merrytime. I don’t like living out of a suitcase, so when I book a short cruise (anyone under 7 days) I do B2B.

  8. JC

    Reading these comments, i am waiting for the concierge crowd to chime in and say they should have better perks because all their 25 cruises were concierge while another family did IGT for 25 cruises… why does it really matter. I have been cruising DCL since 1999, and i stayed in all room types but in the end, the concern for CC status is really more of an ego boost than anything else it seems these days. Not worth the worries!

  9. Brian

    It’s a loyalty program! Who cares if it is days, cruises, whatever? It’s a benefit that Disney doesn’t HAVE to do.

  10. Shari DeMarco

    The one thing I hope they give back is no port arrival time. I miss that for the few cruises they dont have disney transportation.

  11. Ken

    Disney shouldn’t be giving perks to people who spend less than $1mil on cruises. If people don’t want to work hard to show their appreciation they’re just casuals. Congrats on being able to quote Walt to your Walmart coworkers tho.

  12. Ryan

    You watch airline programs become all about the $$$ and nothing else…

    But also, the person with 9 Alaska cruises who couldn’t get a booking on SYD-HNL but the 10x 3 day IGR cruiser could?

    (Yes, the extremes)

    (And as someone who did their honeymoon on an inaugural sailing…. A silver anniversary bonus would be nice.)

  13. Gary Saunders

    So being a platinum member, will my benefit of a free meal at palo, my priority boarding be taken away and awarded to pearl members know

  14. Sam

    All the belly aching I’ve seen about it should be nights is quite funny, how many soon to be Pearl cruisers have only done 3 night cruises? That would have to be the most boring way to get to Pearl let alone Platinum. Disney chose not to penalize the less well off who maybe can’t afford the longer cruises. Status is still gained even on shorter cruises.

  15. CHFR

    Perhaps Disney Cruise should do some combination of numbers and days so you could reach the levels for days or for number of cruises. So you could have something like this (numbers for the nights are just guesses, it could be higher or lower):

    Silver: 1 cruise
    Gold: 5 cruises or 20 nights
    Platinum: 10 cruises or 50 nights
    Pearl: 25 cruises or 100 nights

    They probably needed some more levels – at least a 50 and 100 level, maybe titanium and diamond. Things like titanium, emerald, saphire ruby, diamond for the 50, 75, 100 etc ranges.

    And then continue on:
    Titanium: 50 cruises or 200 nights
    Diamond: 100 cruises or 400 nights

    As someone who will be Pearl (31 cruises, more than 175 days), I don’t really care, but when we started much of the 2000-2008 timeframe were shorter summer cruises on the Wonder given the Magic was in Europe some of the summers (not 2009 though, which was awesome) although we could get the 7 nights in over Christmas breaks, we couldn’t due to time sharing over spring break given it was only a week.

    A few things I’d like to see at the Pearl level:
    1. Priority luggage to your room.
    2. Discounts without placeholders would be nice.
    3. Bring back the Platinum gathering, except at Pearl I guess.
    4. Earlier booking for new itineraries I presume will be part of it, ditto excursions.

    On a different note, I do miss the intimacy of the Magic and Wonder where you could see crew year after year and they’d remember you. I wasn’t a fan of the Wish layout, btw, let’s hope the next ships improve it closer to the original 4.

    1. mschreib13

      Here I am at Pearl + with 68 cruises and 473 days (6.956 days per cruise). 20 days to gold; 66 days to platinum, and; 186 days to pearl. I live in Oklahoma, raised in Los Angeles started going to DL in Aug 1955. Can’t remember when I first went to WDW, I worked at The Disney Store, I am a WDW AP holder, a member of D23 I bought into DVC while on a cruise July or August, 2015 SSR and VGF. I discovered the joy of B2B cruises (to extend my time onboard) going from San Diego to Alaska to Vancouver. My longest to date was a 9XB2B on board Wonder 12/3/21 through 1/14/22 made up of 4 and 6 day cruises. I prefer Port Canaveral as a starting point because I can use my DVC before the cruise(s), but I have sailed out of or to Vancouver, San Diego, Galveston, NOLA, New York, Barcelona, Miami, and Copenhagen.
      Like CHFR I appreciate being recognized by cast and crew when I wander around the various ships of the DCL fleet.

      1. mschreib13

        All this talk of cost per day forgets about solo cruisers like me. The only difference between what a couple pays and me are the port fees. So why don’t the solo-cruisers get extra credit?

  16. Brent

    Nice swing and a miss Chapek with the 25 sailings for Pearl. Glad he is gone. Six five-night cruisers seem dedicated to Disney just as much as someone with ten three-night cruisers, yet they get less rewards for it. Odd. Maybe it would be fair across the board to award castaway status based on nights since it would be given equally no matter how much you pay or can afford. I can’t afford to routinely miss work for multiple three- and four-day sailings. Work and cost per day guide me to five- and seven-day sailings.


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